The Government has announced a major overhaul of disabilities funding which will see parents and spouses paid up to $25.50 an hour to look after family members.
“We have heard loud and clear from families with disabled members about the need to change Funded Family Care,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Sunday.
“Today progresses a more compassionate Government that addresses the needs of stretched parents and partners.”
Under the changes, spouses and parents will be paid for looking after their disabled family members. Currently, the funding can’t be used to employ a spouse.
“Parents and partners of people with high or very high support needs will now be able to be paid to care for their family members as part of Funded Family Care,” says Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter.
“Pay rates are going to increase from the current minimum wage to a fairer pay equity rate of between $20.50 and $25.50.”
Part 4A of the NZ Public Health and Disability Act – which prevents families from taking discrimination cases about breaches to the Human Rights Act 1993 to court – will also be repealed.
The changes will come into effect in 2020 once legislation has gone through a Select Committee process. Budget 2019 has allocated $32 million to help fund these changes.